The highly dangerous homemade drug Krokodil has become the center of a drug epidemic in Russia. It has over 1 million users in Russia, and has spread to other neighboring countries. Developed as an alternative to heroin – which is scarce – it contains a mixture of ingredients that can include hydrochloric acid and gasoline. The drug is of serious concern to medical officials across the United States, although reports of its use have been often exaggerated.
What is Krokodil?
The main ingredient of Krokodil is codeine, which is mixed with other ingredients such as lighter fluid, paint thinners, and iodine. It is most commonly taken by injecting into the veins, as this delivers its effects the quickest. Users can experience the effects of the drug just a few minutes after injecting. Krokodil is the Russian word for crocodile, given to the drug because of the green scaly patches that appear at the site of infection.
What are the side effects of Krokodil?
Because of its mixture of dangerous ingredients, Krokodil has many horrible and lethal side effects. It is often referred to as ‘the Zombie Drug’ or ‘Zombie Heroin’, because its main side effect is that it rots a user’s skin from the inside out. This leaves users with exposed flesh and bone, opening them up to infections and gangrene, both of which can require the need for the affected area to be amputated.
Krokodil also causes open, pungent wounds on the skin. As well as physical symptoms, there is a high risk of brain damage, leading to slurred speech and erratic movement in long-term addicts. Most addicts live less than three years, with the main cause of death being loss of skin.
Is Krokodil addictive?
Krokodil is highly addictive. This, combined with the extreme side effects, makes it a very lethal drug. It is around ten times more powerful than morphine, three times more potent than heroin, and only a tenth of the price. All of the ingredients are available freely in Russia, although codeine requires a prescription in America.
As well as being more powerful than heroin, it is also more addictive. The euphoric effects of Krokodil last for only a couple of hours, after which painful withdrawal symptoms kick in. These withdrawal symptoms are even more severe than heroin, which is itself extremely hard to give up. While heroin withdrawal symptoms usually last ten days at the most, Krokodil withdrawal can last for an entire month. Withdrawing from the drug is a physically painful experience.
What are the Krokodil withdrawal symptoms?
Krokodil withdrawal symptoms are incredibly nasty. Users trying to give up the drug can experience a body temperature of up to 40 degrees, accompanied by headaches, seizures, and vomiting. It also effects gums, causing the loss of teeth (1).
Treatment for Krokodil addiction
It is important that anyone with a Krokodil addiction gets the treatment they need as soon as possible. The longer their drug abuse continues, the more severe their side effects will be, causing lasting damage that will have a massive impact upon their lives. The quicker they get themselves into treatment, the less likely they are to lose their life to the drug. Krokodil treatment centers support addicts trying to overcome their Krokodil addiction, helping them deal with their withdrawal symptoms and giving them the coping mechanisms they need to live drug free.
If you, or someone you know, has a Krokodil addiction, call Steps to Recovery today.
1 – http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iv-drip/krokodil-the-drug-which-gives-you-a-oneyear-life-expectancy-8167370.html
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